As a stay-at-home parent, you gain the peace and satisfaction of providing safety, consistency and love to your children. As with any major life decision, though, choosing to leave the corporate world to focus on your little ones has its drawbacks. Learning the downsides can help you decide whether staying home is right for your family.
Giving up working outside of the home to be there for your children means that you will lose that income. In addition, you will lose any benefits you received from your job, such as an employer-sponsored health care plan, matched retirement savings and paid time off. When considering this deficit, weighing it against money you will save on child care, commuting and other work-related expenses can help you determine whether you can afford the change.
Feelings of Isolation and Boredom
Anyone who has ever cared for children knows what a demanding and thankless job it can be, but some parents miss the mind stimulation, adult interaction and variety that a career outside the home often provides. Parents who choose to stay home should seek out ways to counter monotony and loneliness, such as play dates outside of the home, family outings to interesting places or taking classes that are challenging yet enjoyable.
Less Time for Yourself
Although you might not consider working outside of the home as "me time," working as a full-time parent typically means your schedule is determined by your family's needs. As you are always on the job, you lose out on commute time when you can decompress, breaks spent chatting with coworkers or running errands alone during your lunch hour. If you choose to stay home, make time for yourself a priority. Read a book while your little one naps or soak in the tub while your spouse takes over.
Difficulty Reentering the Workforce
No matter how hard you wish for them to stay small, children grow up and start their own lives. When that time comes, you may find it hard to reboot your career. Competing with applicants who have recent experience and references might move you to the back of the list. Taking steps to remain current while raising your children, such as continuing your education and networking with former colleagues, can help you return to your career outside the home when you are ready to do so.